On the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia, different UN leaders have made different calls to respect the dignity of this community and its right to live in a free and equal way to the rest of the world’s citizens. This year’s appeals have been framed within the coronavirus pandemic, which has exacerbated feelings of stigma and violence against these people.
LGBTI + people still face great difficulties in their daily lives. There are still 69 countries that criminalize same-sex relationships, millions of lesbian, gay and bisexual people live in fear of being who they are and showing their loved ones. Transgender people are punished in at least 26 countries and experience unprecedented levels of violence worldwide.
In a message released on the occasion of the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia, which is commemorated this Sunday, the UN Secretary-General has called on everyone to support the right to live in a free way and egalitarian.
The commemoration of International Day this year comes as the world continues to fight the COVID-19 pandemic that has increased the vulnerability of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people.
“In addition to having to face prejudice, attack and murder simply because of who they are or those they love, many LGBTI people are now faced with increased stigma as a result of the virus, as well as new obstacles when it comes to seek medical attention ”, says Antonio Guterres in his message.
«There are also reports that the police misuse the COVID-19 directives to attack LGBTI individuals and organizations,» he reported.
«LGBTI people are often exposed to additional stigma, discrimination and violence, even when seeking medical services, and perhaps saddest of all, within their own families during confinements. In some places they are also treated as scapegoats for the spread of the virus, «said Michelle Bachelet.
Referring to the theme for the International Day, “Let’s break the silence”, Bachelet urged everyone to fight hate and not be silent in the face of discrimination and violence suffered by LGBTI people.
«We are going to counter the homophobic, transphobic and biphobic attitudes and narratives that have such a devastating impact on the lives of so many human beings around the world,» he said.
The United Nations Development Program works to help break the silence that hurts LGBTI + people and ultimately affects us all. Its work is carried out in 53 countries, in collaboration with LGBTI + communities and policy makers, to strengthen the inclusion of LGBTI + people in national development initiatives.
Human dignity at the center of everything
For his part, the head of the United Nations Development Program has ensured that «people and their rights must occupy a primary and central place in the response and recovery to COVID-19.»
«On this day, let us raise our voices and reaffirm our commitment to place human dignity at the center of everything we do to create fairer and more inclusive societies,» said Achim Steiner.
The UN Secretary General emphasized that as the pandemic develops, the UN will continue to highlight injustices against LGBTI people, as well as other injustices that are committed on a daily basis around the world.
«Together, let us unite against discrimination and for the right of all to live free and equal in dignity and rights,» Guterres concluded.